The European Commission calls and the stakeholders respond

On the invitation of the European Commission, representatives of European organisations active in the field of multilingualism participated in a strategy meeting at the beginning of this week. There they discussed the future EU-funding policy for 2014-2020 with key staff members. Jonathan Hill, member of the cabinet of European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou responsible for multilingualism, was attending the meeting as well.

The Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) has entered into the circle of the funding institutions through the support it received for its network RML2future and the two year project on raising awareness of the positive impact of multilingualism in Europe, “ProML”, that will start up next year (in recent years FUEN has been granted about 800 000 Euro of EU funding).

Both projects will be funding through the “Lifelong Learning” programme. This programme will not be continued after 2014. From 2014 till 2020 the new motto will be: “Erasmus for all“.

“Erasmus for all” will – at least that is what the European Commission aims at – unites all the current EU programmes for general and vocational education, youth and sports on European and international level. This means that seven existing programmes will be replaced by one single new one, which should create more efficiencies, easier application procedures for financial support and less overlap and fragmentation.

Not just in the field of education and youth the programmes and priorities will be newly oriented – also in other fields of policy. The negotiation on the next financial framework of the EU from 2014 is the major, hot political issue right now. The negotiations will take another two years. There is much at stake, namely the income and expenses of the European Union: about 1 000 billion Euros.

If you would like to find out about the details, or read a general overview of the new financial framework of the EU, you should look here. 
If you would like to get informed about the strategic goals of the EU, which are the basis for the new financial framework, you can find the Strategy Europe 2020 here.

A relatively small part of these 1 000 billion Euros – i.e. 19 billion Euros – will be allocated through the newly created programme “Erasmus for all”, which will constitute an increase of 70% in comparison with the current seven year period.

The new programme will focus on EU added value and systemic impact (EU-jargon, editor’s note), with support for three types of action: learning opportunities for individuals, both within the EU and beyond; institutional cooperation between educational institutions, youth organisations, businesses, local and regional authorities and NGOs; and support for reforms in Member States to modernise education and training systems and promote innovation, entrepreneurship and employability.

The proposal from the European Commission for a legal framework enabling this new programme “Erasmus for all” is on the table now. It is up to the EU Member States and the Parliament to decide on the definitive legal framework.

During the meeting in Brussels the stakeholders were requested by the Commission to advocate the proposal towards the Member States and the Members of the European Parliament.

FUEN considers the proposal and will of course pay attention to ensure that the issue of the regional and minority languages, in particular the smaller and smallest languages of Europe that are critically endangered, will be taken into account.

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